After several months of wearing these polarized sunglasses while out fishing, hiking, and living life, I’ve decided to let you know what I think about them in this Smith Redding review.
Smith Redding sunglasses are comfortable, lightweight, and durable. While the look and price point may not appeal to everyone, they provide excellent protection from both direct and indirect sunlight. Fishermen and outdoor recreationists will find them functional both on and off the water.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Smallish lenses, but with great sun and glare protection
- Excellent color contrast and water visibility with ChromaPop lenses
- High-end feel in materials, spring hinges, and lenses
- Don’t like to rest on top of head when not on eyes
- Style does not appeal to everyone
- Like all Smiths, they’re not cheap!
Compare prices at: Sportsman’s Warehouse
Hands-on Review of Smith Redding Polarized Sunglasses
We tested multiple pairs of fishing sunglasses and I kept coming back to the Smith Reddings as one of my favorites. I’ve worn them a ton while out on the water, around camp, and mowing the lawn.
I really like the more minimalistic frames and lenses the Reddings offer compared to many others, but still with good coverage.
Let’s take a look at the main criteria I looked at and how the Smith Redding performed. The sunglasses were given a score for each category where 1 is the poorest and 5 is the best.
Outdoor Empire Score: 5
I loved how the Smith Redding sunglasses fit on my face. I have a medium sized oval-shaped face and my nose is rather broad where glasses rest, and these fit perfectly.
The Reddings grip well to your face and don’t bounce around or slip down easily, even when active like hiking, fishing, or running. Never once have they fallen off my face by accident.
They are also very lightweight, even with the glass lenses. Compared to other Smith sunglasses I tried with glass lenses, these don’t feel heavy on your face. You can wear the Reddings all day long and be comfortable.
Outdoor Empire Score: 4
I tried a lot of different Smith sunglasses designed for fishing and watersports. What stood out to me about the Redding was the relatively small lens size. By no means is it too small, I should clarify. Frankly, I think they strike a perfect balance of sun protection and size.
They definitely wrap more than some, which I prefer. Though if you are anti-wrap, you may not be so keen.
The narrow ear pieces maintain a classic look and feel. I like that they have spring hinges as well.
The frames are made of what feels like a high-end material. They have a little flex without braking and they’ve been very durable. I’ve stuffed them into bags, tossed them on the dash, even dropped them on the dirt and in the water a few times without issue.
Smith lenses are amazing, especially those with ChromaPop. The colors do indeed pop noticeably. That combined with the polarized feature makes them amazing for fishing, very easy to see into the water. Compared to some cheap polarized sunglasses I have, these are better for both water and color contrast.
A good variety of frame and lens color options can suit most anybody and any lighting condition.
Perhaps one thing that is less appealing to some people about the Reddings is the alien-like oval shape of the lenses. There’s not really a modern wow factor with these when it comes to looks. They’ve got sort of a late 90’s, early 2000’s vibe. But that’s when I was in my prime, which is probably why I like them!
Outdoor Empire Score: 5
When it comes to coverage and protection from the sun, which I think we can all agree is the primary objective here, Smith Redding sunglasses are amazing!
They wrap around your face well with an 8 base wrap according to Smith Optics. That allows them to provide great coverage without a lot of bulk.
The lenses sit closer to your face than others I’ve tried, which eliminates glare from the sides or below.
Whether I’m driving or fishing on a sunny day, the Reddings do a fine job at keeping both direct and indirect sunlight away from my eyes.
Outdoor Empire Score: 4
Smith Redding sunglasses grip well to your face, nose, and temples with strategically placed non-slip pads.
The spring hinges are quite functional and help accommodate a wider range of face shapes. They also help avoid accidental breakage.
The small footprint on the face is both functional and appealing to me.
I appreciate the bit of flex in the frames as well as the slightly downward curved and narrow ear pieces. These also accommodate just about any sort of leash or neck strap you might want to use. They’re not fat and you can remove the rubber pads to reveal holes for differnt types of leashes.
There is only one thing I really don’t like about the Reddings that holds them back from being perfect for me. The combination of the slightly heavier glass lenses and the spring hinges make it so the sunglasses won’t stay on the top of my head without falling back down onto my nose.
So when I walk in a store or some place where I need to take them off temporarily and try to stick them on my head, they don’t want to stay there. So I usually end up carrying them in my hand, which is inconvenient.
This is quite a minor thing, but bugs me just a bit. When I’m wearing a hat, they sit on my hat just fine. And I suspect if I had the regular polycarbonate lenses, this wouldn’t be an issue because they’re lighter.
And the glass is supposed to be more scratch resistant and have its benefits, so it’s a tradeoff.
Outdoor Empire Score: 4
Value is somewhat relative because $200 may be a lot for one person and nothing for another. But since these sunglasses do fall in that range, and there are lots of options for less, I have a hard time giving a full five stars to these on value. So I give these a pretty average score on value.
You can probably get better bang for your buck with something else. But Smith has the cool brand and reputation that allows them to charge that much.
The Redding sunglasses are definitely cool and high quality. So if they fit your budget, they’re definitely worth it.
The good news is, these have been available for a few years now and if you keep an eye out, you can probably find them on sale.
Outdoor Empire Total Score: 4.4
Overall, the Redding is great for anglers and outdoorsy people who don’t like the look of huge sunglasses. They provide great coverage and protection from glares, they’re comfortable, and they’re high-quality.
And for those who want or need glass lenses, these are a great choice because the smaller lenses make them not too heavy. Just be ye warned, they might not stay on top of your head when not in use on your eyes!
If you want to check out some more polarized sunglasses options from Smith that are great for fishing and water sports, be sure and check out our Best Smith Fishing Sunglasses article!
And for more options than just Smith, you should be able to find something you like in our Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses comparison article.
Note: Smith Optics provided these sunglasses to Outdoor Empire as a free sample to try out. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely our own.